Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grumbacher Miskit Liquid Frisket

Frisket for batik style painting

According to Wikipedia, a frisket is any material that protects areas of a work from unintended change.

Batik mandala using frisket

I've always been interested in fabrics that use a resist as a way to create a design. Batik is one example, mudcloth another.

Batik Mandala using Frisket

I could visualize what I wanted to do, but I couldn't figure out what to use as a resist. Wax crayons didn't work, and white india ink did just so-so. Painting with the white ink also proved to be kind of challenging on white paper.

Mandala :: Release

I finally came up with the idea of using a liquid type of frisket most commonly used in watercolor painting to mask off areas you wish to remain white. I bought the bottle shown above at Blick, and applied it with a thin watercolor brush to the paper. Since it has a bright orange dye in it, it's much easier to see on the paper. The brush does eventually get all gummed up because the frisket is latex based, but per the instructions, "It washes out of pens and brushes with soap and water."

Once dry, (it dries pretty quick) I would work with water based fountain pen inks applied with a sponge brush. Sometimes I would let all of the ink soak into the paper, sometimes I would blot some of it off. All of the images above were created in this manner. Once the ink is dry, you start to carefully roll the frisket off the paper. It comes off in rubbery boogerish (sorry) bits.

On the last image, I used a marker to add additional detail to the white spaces.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My First Mandala

010607 Prismacolor Meditation Mandala

Looking back through my mandala images on Flickr, I came upon this image which if I remember correctly, was my first ever mandala. This is the comment I wrote below it, dated January 6th, 2007.

010607 Prismacolor Meditation Mandala

"This was inspired by Jouste's meditation mandala. It was done with Prismacolor markers, and completed in one sitting. (About 3 1/2 hours - the time just flew......) I was listening to Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now through most of it. I also did something a little different for about 90% of it from the center out. I sat with a bag filled with 12 markers (+ 1 blender pen) in my lap. I would pull out a marker at random, and that's the one I would use for that ring. I got a little tired of that at the end, plus I wanted to touch up a few areas with certain colors. Interestingly enough, "Red" didn't come up on a random pull till one of the last few pulls."

I think the red bumps with green/blue circles look like frog eyes."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Save it for a rainy day

Acrylic Mandala on black scrapbook sheet

It's only been a few months that I have been working with acrylic paints. I initially bought them to paint on walls, windows, and other objects, and it only recently occurred to me that I could use them on paper. For whatever reason, I always imagined them to be super heavy and unsuitable for something thin like paper- maybe I thought they would crack or something, but apparently, I was wrong. They work quite well on paper and in this case, it was a square sheet of scrapbooking paper from the craft store.

For a rainy day

Since I'm still very new to working with this media, I manage to keep pouring out more than I need, so I pulled out a Canson sketchbook and filled a few pages with plain color that I can work over on another day - a rainy day perhaps? It's not much different than when I was doing the same thing with fountain pen ink.

For a rainy day

The paper in this particular sketchbook does not seem to like wet media like watercolor or even wet ink pens, so I thought I would give it a hand by coating the paper with acrylic ink. I have some Staedtler permanent markers I think will work quite well over top of these pages.

For a rainy day

Th paints I have been using are the little bottles of craft paints once again, found at the craft store. I've tried the Liquitex tube paints - you might remember when I painted Jaqui's column with them, but I found them to be too thin and runny for my liking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Categories have been updated!

Mandala : Dream Big

Just a quick note to say that I have brought all of the links up to date on the category pages located at the top of my blog. Take a look at all of my ink reviews, journal and paper reviews, art supply reviews, and mandala posts.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Crystals, Rocks and Gemstones

Part of my collection

Part of my collection, taken sometime at the end of last year. I have added more since then. Most have purchased at local gem and mineral shows. I prefer stones in raw or tumbled form.

When I was 16, someone gave me a piece of crystal flourite and I was forever hooked. Not only do I find the different stones pretty, I appreciate their metaphysical qualities as well.

A few of my favorites are below.

Citrine Cathedral

Natural citrine cathedral quartz.

GI (Growth Interference) Quartz

Growth interceptor quartz.

Rutilated Quartz

Tumbled rutilated quartz.

052707 Rocks 031

Stone mandala created in May of 07. Most of my stones are small, with the exception of the smokey quartz in the center above, and one larger piece of quartz that I didn't yet own when this picture was taken.

If you are interested in learning about the different properties of the stones, I've worked my way through about a dozen different books and found this one to be the easiest to use: The Crystal Bible

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I made a Folded Pen. Go ahead and say it - You made a what?

Mandala drawn with folded pen and Diamine Light Green Ink

One late night while surfing around Flickr for who knows what, I found some calligraphy images where the writing implement that used was referred to as a "cola-pen."

Google didn't provide much info on "cola-pen" other than vintage Coke collectibles so I kept searching until I found another name for it, "folded pen."

With home-made folded calligraphy pen

The folded pen is basically just that - a thin piece of folded metal that you either dip in ink/paint or fill with a brush. They appear to be an updated version of the ruling pen - a vintage drawing instrument originally used together with straight rulers for technical drawings in engineering and cartography. (How old are ruling pens? Not sure, but here is an image from a book published in 1901,)

Guess what this is!

After seeing an images of a folded pen I pulled out some 32g copper sheet and created this. It is probably larger than it needs to be, but this is how it ended up. Depending on which way you orient it to the paper, it can create thin or very wide brush-like lines. I love it.

With home-made folded calligraphy pen

Every image in this post was created using one of my folded pens. I tried to make one out of a Pepsi Thowback can but it was too thin and broke the moment I tried to lean on the nib. I made two more from the copper that look much prettier than the one above but they all work the same because the angle of the folded edge is the same. (That's what I get for working without a plan. LOL) I also just tried making one more with a horizontal folded edge... interesting results which I will post at a later date. (It was very brush-like)

Visconti Burgundy drawn with folded pen

Here are some helpful links on making/using folded pens:

How to make a folded pen. (I did not make mine from a soda/beer can, I used 32g copper sheet and I did not need to reinforce the tip as was shown in this tutorial.)

How to use a folded pen.

Another tutorial (from Argentenia) on how to make a folded pen. (I do not load my pen with a brush - I just dip it in a shallow bowl of ink.)

Live Everyday

After I made the above piece, I went back and drew a large light blue mandala behind it.

Rose Tendresse w/ Folded Pen

My friend Leigh Reyes did a great blog post on her new folded pen. I broke down and ordered the same pen (no.30) to see the difference between the ones I made. Somewhere I had seen a complete set of handmade folded pens from a site in South America but I can't find the link.... Guess I forgot to add it to Evernote!

Releasing judgements

I have a real affinity for any kind of writing implement where I can vary the line width. Brush pens, calligraphy markers - I love them!

Mandala to remove obstacles

After filling this page with the mantra "Om Dum Durgayei Namaha" in Herbin's Rose Tendresse fountain pen ink, I drew the mandala and filled it in using Pitt Brush pens.

New Old Compass set

After learning about ruling pens, I bought two vintage ones from eBay and also this compass set - which I didn't realize also contained a ruling pen. Unfortunately, they are all very straight in nature and only draw very thin lines. I will continue to experiment but am not really finding them useful. (Just in case you were going to ask, it is unlikely that I will try using the compass to make mandalas... no patience, and not really my style.)

Check out Leigh's video of her using her folded pen.
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